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Graduate Students Recognized Through 2022 W.D. Farr Scholarship

CENTENNIAL, Colo. | Colorado State University graduate students Ashley Schilling of Timnath, Colorado, and Lane Giess, of Pierz, Minnesota, have each been awarded a $15,000 W.D. Farr Scholarship by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship program, established by NCF in 2007, recognizes outstanding graduate students who plan to pursue careers furthering the beef industry.

Schilling and Giess were selected from 21 applicants based on their academic achievements, leadership and commitment to the advancement of the beef industry. They will be recognized during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Feb. 1-3, in New Orleans.

Schilling graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and is pursuing her master’s and PhD in animal science from CSU as well. Her involvement in 4-H and raising livestock as a youth instilled a passion for production agriculture and feeding consumers. Schilling’s graduate work focuses on advancing sustainable solutions for beef systems, and she hopes to educate industry professionals, producers and the public about how the beef industry supports environmental, social and economic sustainability across the value chain.

“This scholarship is giving me the opportunity to holistically investigate some of the greatest challenges and opportunities for future agriculturalists and to expand my knowledge of livestock systems and the innovations that will support future agri-food supply chains,” said Schilling.

Giess grew up on his family’s seedstock cattle ranch in central Minnesota and quickly learned the value of genetics. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Kansas State University, Giess was accepted to Colorado State University’s animal science doctoral program. He is studying quantitative animal breeding and genetics with an emphasis in developing genetic evaluations to improve fertility, longevity and the economic sustainability of commercial cattle. Giess is looking forward to contributing to the advancement of genetic technologies making cattle producers more profitable.

“Receiving the W.D. Farr Scholarship will help me become a better researcher, a better leader and validate my commitment to the beef industry,” said Giess.

The scholarship honors the successful career of the late W.D. Farr. Farr, a third-generation Coloradan, pioneer rancher, statesman and banker was known for his extraordinary vision. His dedication to improving agriculture, livestock and water development resulted in significant changes in farming methods that have influenced the practices of ranchers and farmers throughout the nation. Farr was the first president of the NCF and served as president of the American National Cattlemen’s Association, which later became the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Farr died at age 97 in August 2007.

The NCF advances the future of the beef industry by assisting in the education of the next generation of beef industry professionals. For more information about NCF and the W.D. Farr Scholarship, visit


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or


Wendy White,

Barb Wilkinson,


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